NHA Strategic Plan 2015-2018

2015-2018 Strategic Plan


In this difficult housing market, it is especially important that NHA’s affordable rents allow our residents to have money left for food, medicine, and other necessities. We estimate our rents are 25% less expensive than modest apartments, and our residents save more than $3.9 million each year by living in our properties. Low vacancy rates and long waiting lists tell us our properties meet an important community need, and that more affordable housing is necessary in Oregon.

Our previous three-year strategic plan aimed to continue steady, sustainable growth in quality affordable housing across Oregon. We opened 191 new housing units, rehabilitated existing properties, and collaborated with community partners.

These new projects serve seniors, families, and people with special needs in Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Florence, Oak Grove, and Corvallis. Another 163 units are in pre-development in Northwest and Southeast Portland.

Our Resident Services program helped enhance the well-being of our residents by connecting them to health and wellness, nutrition, education, and employment services. During the last three years, NHA’s residents accessed our Resident Services program over 24,500 times.

Our Homeless Intervention Services department helped 481 families avoid or transition from homelessness through the HomeBase program. Our new Pathways rapid re-housing program served residents living with mental illness. And, we provided emergency shelter, transitional housing, and supportive case management to 154 Clackamas County families with children.

Woven throughout NHA’s mission is our Equity Policy and Plan, adopted in 2012, which reflects a commitment to apply an equity lens to all of our work. We promote equity in our leadership and organizational culture, program design and delivery, and in the economic opportunities created by NHA. Our efforts earned us the Oregon Opportunity Network 2014 Strides for Equity award.


Our strategic planning process focused on resident and community partner input during the spring of 2015. Three workgroup sessions convened during the spring engaged over 60 community partners, volunteers, past participants, and current residents, in addition to NHA’s staff and board of directors.

These stakeholders supplied constructive insights into four focus areas: NHA’s People, Places, Profile, and Process. An eight member Steering Committee comprised of staff, board members, and a consulting facilitator guided this work.


NHA is one of the largest and oldest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in Oregon. As the need for safe and dignified housing grows in our state, we are committed to building high quality housing, growing our statewide portfolio, and advancing the affordable housing industry. In our cities, suburbs, and rural communities, NHA will pioneer strategies to guarantee housing for all Oregonians.

We exceeded nearly all of our 2011-2014 Strategic Plan goals. Given that accomplishment, the stakeholders structured this plan with even more challenging goals.

NHA will work with all of our residents and partners to increase awareness and investment in our mission. Together, we will share our stories and provide opportunities for all Oregonians to help end homelessness and housing instability in our state.

Equitable and sustainable strategies will guide our progress toward meeting these ambitious goals. NHA’s future campus will provide a hub to test, analyze, and share successful approaches to developing housing and providing programs for Oregonians earning low incomes.



Two overarching principles will guide our work.

PARTNERSHIPS: Explore and engage innovative partnerships with community-based organizations, business partners, and funders to create efficiencies and expand capacity to achieve our mission.

EQUITY: Ensure that both our programs and internal operations enhance our focus on social equity by implementing best practices and evaluating accomplishments



Provide services that create stability and transform lives

Deliver strong and effective programs to help prevent and end homelessness.

Create and implement a transition plan for families who need homeless services during redevelopment of the Milwaukie Campus. Prepare for operations at the new Annie Ross House.

Connect our residents with the support and opportunities they need to thrive.

Triple the IDA program to help families save for higher education and homeownership.

Rigorously measure program outcomes in order to continuously improve and expand services provided to residents and program participants.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Build and strengthen partnerships to serve diverse populations and to meet the wide range of needs of residents and program participants.


Develop and manage exceptional affordable housing

Complete the redevelopment of our Milwaukie Campus — creating a new home for NHA’s staff and programs. Use the Campus as a learning hub for program and development innovation to better serve the most vulnerable households in Oregon.

Create more affordable housing that builds upon our statewide presence and green-building achievements (200 units / 5 properties).

Rehabilitate and refinance our current properties to sustain affordability and quality for generations to come (300 units / 8 properties).

Continue strong asset management of our portfolio through dynamic fiscal oversight, proactive physical stewardship, and resident-focused business practices.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Explore opportunities to use our development expertise to serve communities and organizations with limited capacity. Engage property management companies to deliver great services at great properties and enhance equity outcomes.


Strengthen public awareness and support for programs

Frame NHA’s public profile with a focus on the people we serve — develop a comprehensive communications plan.

Successfully complete the Milwaukie Campus capital campaign and position NHA for increased community support.

Double annual volunteer hours across the organization to grow NHA’s capacity.

Advocate for increased resources and beneficial policies to meet the affordable housing needs of all Oregonians.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Engage business partners and advocacy allies to expand community awareness of NHA.


Support organizational excellence

Deepen engagement in ongoing implementation of our Equity Plan.

Align information technology and human resource capacity with organizational growth.

Sustain a culture of high performance and mutual support; create strategies to recruit and retain a talented workforce.

Strengthen our board through training and leadership development.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Our strongest partners are our board and staff members — continue to rally our sense of collective effort and commitment to mission.


Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) has created opportunity through housing for over 30 years. At the heart of our work are the families, older adults, and people with special needs we serve. For a senior, a home can create peace of mind and the ability to live independently. For a family, stability means children can attend the same school year after year. For a person with a disability, affordable housing can improve their health and help form strong ties to their community.

With these Oregonians in mind, we provide 1,831 safe, dignified, and affordable homes to over 2,700 individuals. All of NHA’s housing is reserved for people who earn low incomes, and the average NHA household earns $15,000 per year.



At Northwest Housing Alternatives, we believe that everyone needs an affordable, dignified, and safe place to call home. We believe Oregon as a whole benefits when families can raise their children in homes they can afford, when seniors can remain in the communities they helped build, and where people with special needs live with dignity.

NHA has the experience necessary to create homes and opportunities for people in need. To continue to build a strong future, Northwest Housing Alternatives needs the support of community organizations, local businesses, and individuals.

Please help support our mission by donating money to help us develop new homes, lend your talents by becoming a volunteer, or invite a friend, family member, or coworker to learn more about the work done by NHA. To become a part of Northwest Housing Alternatives, find us at nwhousing.org or call 503-654-1007 x109.